Friday, May 15, 2009
Love, Loss and What I Baked: Only A Masquerade
My friend Julia's 40th birthday in January was the first of a LOT of 40th birthdays in 2009 among my circle of friends (including my own)
The year of milestones was kicked off with her Masquerade/Karaoke/Dessert Buffet party - what could be more fun? I love to doll up in costumes and despite my utter lack of talent, I love singing Karaoke too. And, I got to get some more use out of the mask I made for Mardi Gras way back in college, and the feather boas I picked up at a yard sale that I just knew would come in handy one day.
The party was a hoot and a half - I got two of my friends to join me on "Bad Girls" and "Express Yourself" and the treats on the dessert table were yummy.
The cake is Black Magic Cake, topped with Mocha Neoclassic Buttercream. I rolled the sided in chopped almonds, and topped them with a chocolate mask.
To make the mask, I found an image online and copied it 6 or 8 times onto a sheet of paper. I placed a sheet of waxed paper over the image, and piped melted chocolate over the outline. I filled it in with melted white chocolate into the outline to fill in the mask. To keep the chocolate from hardening while I was working, I used a heating pad. I folded it in half and tucked the bags in the middle wrapped in a dish towel.
I popped the chocolate pieces in the freezer to harden, and then peeled them off of the waxed paper. Then you flip them over and use the side that was on the paper. I added one of my horded gold dragees to the center for a touch of glam.
Why am I hording gold dragees? Because they are illegal in California. Yep, that's right - you can't buy them here and online companies will not ship them here. Why? Because a lawyer in Napa got it into his head that they are dangerous and started suing everyone from McCormick Spices to Martha Stewart to local cake decorating stores. You can read more about it here. So, if you have friends or family out of state, have them smuggle some in for you!